Friday, January 9, 2015

Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse

An interesting new book that reads very well for undergraduates, graduate students, or just those interested in the metaphysical implications of the multiverse for science, philosophy, ethics, religion, and politics.

Worlds Without End focuses on the history of philosophies purporting a "multiverse," from the ancient Greek atomists, to the Stoics, to the Moderns, to William James, to contemporary theorists.  The book also addresses the question of how God as creator of the uni-verse fairs with respect to the on-going creation of uni-verses or in total-process the "multiverse."  Those interested in ontological pluralism will certainly appreciate this book.

A great review HERE from the LA Review of Books tells more.  I liked this part in particular from the review, as it connects theories of the multiverse to perspectives on eternity:

[T]he clearest representation of the “modern” scientific multiverse in contemporary culture comes not from science fiction or space opera, but from HBO’s genre-bending crime drama, True Detective. As nihilist savant Rustin Cohle, a mustachioed Matthew McConaughey ponders the emptiness of existence in a Louisiana interrogation room. “You ever heard of something called the M-Brane theory?” asks the disheveled Cohle, sipping beer through his unkempt mustache. Gazing past his inquisitors with a thousand-yard stare, Cohle explains the branch of string theory that posits 11 dimensions of space-time: “It’s like in this universe, we process time linearly forward, but outside of our space-time, from what would be a fourth-dimensional perspective, time wouldn’t exist, and from that vantage, could we attain it, we’d see our space-time would look flattened, like a single sculpture with matter in a superposition of every place it ever occupied, our sentience just cycling through our lives like carts on a track. See, everything outside our dimension that’s eternity, eternity looking down on us. Now, to us, it’s a sphere, but to them it’s a circle.” Cohle’s famed claim that “time is a flat circle” captures our scientific moment, but in it we’re hearing the Stoics whispering from millennia in the past.